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Who is Owen Beck, Liverpool’s rising talent with a famous uncle impressing first-team stars and being compared to Andy Robertson

It might have slipped under the radar amid the fallout from Euro 2020, but on Monday Liverpool handed a five-year contract to young Welshman Owen Beck.

Wales youth international Beck, who is the great nephew of Liverpool icon Ian Rush, is quietly making a very good impression up on Merseyside.

Having now been tied down to a long-term deal at Anfield, following in the footsteps of Neco Williams who penned a similar deal last summer, what are the 18-year-old’s prospects?

We sought the expert insight of DAVID LYNCH , our reporter up in Liverpool, who has followed the youngster’s progress up to what Beck will hope is a watershed moment in his career…

Q. What’s Owen Beck’s backstory?

As the grandson of Ian Rush’s sister, Carole, Owen had little choice but to be a huge Liverpool supporter from birth.

But he actually took his first steps in football in Stoke City’s academy prior to being snapped up by his boyhood club at the age of 13.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing since, with a change of position brought about by FA Youth Cup-winning coach Barry Lewtas shortly after his arrival leading to some difficult moments over the years.

Initially an attacking midfielder, Owen was moved to left-back where, as one of the youngest players in his age group, he generally tended to struggle up against more physical opposition.

However, things just seem to have clicked for him since he reached under-18 level, resulting in a speedy promotion to the under-23s followed by regular time at Kirkby training with the first team.

The last 12 months have been a whirlwind, but he has fought to earn every success so far and fully deserves it.

Q. What’s happened so far and what has he done?

Since nailing down a starting place at under-23 level, Owen’s engine and ability going forward have inevitably seen him compared with Andy Robertson.

First-team players have also commented privately that they have been impressed by his efforts in training.

His performances haven’t gone unnoticed by Jurgen Klopp, either, with the boss including Owen in his squad for this summer’s pre-season training camp in Austria. This is another huge opportunity for him to impress and you’d back him to take it

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Owen Beck, pictured tackling Sadio Mane, is said to have impressed Liverpool’s first-team stars

Q. What do Liverpool think of him?

Owen only signed his first professional contract in June 2020 but has since put pen to paper on fresh terms again in November 2020 and now this week.

The frequency with which Liverpool keep handing him deals suggests they rate him very highly and believe that he has a big future in the professional game.

He wouldn’t be training so regularly with the senior squad were there not a belief that he has a genuine chance of making it to that level, either.

Q. How far do you think he can go? A five-year deal suggests they think highly of him..

It’s obviously hard to predict the future of any young player but I think Owen should take inspiration from Neco Williams as he plans out his next steps.

Klopp chose not to sign a back-up to Trent Alexander-Arnold last summer because he believed Williams could take on that role.

The defensive injuries Liverpool suffered ultimately limited the Welshman’s involvement, with Klopp not willing to make further changes to a backline that had been decimated.

However, in a normal season, academy players will be given opportunities to force their way into the manager’s thinking.

Robertson is, of course, immovable at left-back, but Kostas Tsimikas only made two very brief Premier League appearances last term.

Frankly, Owen’s job next season is to convince Klopp that selling Tsimikas further down the line would not leave him short of quality options at left-back.

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